Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Gift Wrap: DIY Envelopes



Day Five: Parchment paper envelopes for all your little Valentines.


It’s what’s inside that counts, right? But, it doesn’t hurt if what’s inside comes wrapped in a pretty box, as any girl who has ever received a blue box from Tiffany’s knows.  Sometimes, especially if what you’re giving isn’t homemade or seems too commercial (hello Via Lattes from Starbucks) a sweet envelope or pretty package can express your true feelings. “This might be a bit commercial: but I was thinking of you, just the same!”   

Remember this?



This was the handmade Valentine that I sent to long-distance friends in 2011. I printed it out and glittered the band on his hat. Then I glued it to red card stock and included a lolly. Tucked it into a red envelope and off it went. 

And then I waited. And waited. And discovered, much to my horror: nobody really liked my Valentine. 

Um, it was a dud. I don’t think any of my friends even got the reference — it was just too, “out there”. Too “handmade” (is there such a thing?) I was sad.  I had hoped to create a fun little way of saying, “I’m thinking of you”, but instead just confused people. The whole thing fell flat. 

And I think there still might be glitter in our carpet. 

I’ll confess, when Valentine’s Day rolled around in 2012 I was still stinging from the rejection. “Maybe people just don’t get the idea?” So, instead of sending out handmade cards to friends for the holidays, I opted out.  I’m not sure many people noticed. 

Funny how our feelings get hurt, right?

But, this year, I am determined and frankly, have learned my lesson? The truth is, I miss my long distance friends terribly. And the we often say to one another, “I wish I lived closer so we could grab a cup of coffee.”  So, when Starbucks offered these trial Via Lattes, I scooped up a bunch. I’m sure our barista thought I was some strange sort of coffee hoarder. But, while completely corporate, these little make at home coffee packs say what good old Telly could not! 

Of course, I can’t just mail these as they are. Can I? Noooooo. So, I created these really simple little envelopes for my Via Valentines. They’re easy to make, although they do require a sewing machine. If you don’t have a machine, fear not. Even wrapping your little corporate gift in a bit of parchment paper and tying it up with a ribbon works beautifully. Just that little extra touch can make a very impersonal gift card feel festive!

Not every gift you give has to be handmade. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of splash and personality to the gift giving process!

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Chalk Pen Love Letters

chalkpen1Day Three: Love Letters on the Bathroom Mirror (or any  mirror!)


This Christmas, I wrote all over our mirrors in the house. Little notes of the season, ushering in the light of the world. And IZ, being the romantic that he is, said at one point, “It’s like little love notes for me!”

So, of course, I promptly went upstairs and created a real love note for him. Our initials in a simple heart adorn a vintage mirror in our bathroom: and I smile every time I see it.

Ok, so the location is not so romantic, but let’s face it: the bathroom is a room we visit… a lot… in the course of a day. Unlike, say, the gym! And who wouldn’t want to be greeted with a little love note when they look into the mirror? The chalk pens hold up to the steam well and erase in a jiffy if you make a mistake or want to change out the message before your relatives come and visit. Ahem. 




Chalk Ink pens are a great way to express your love this Valentine’s Day! And you don’t have to be an artist to do it. Just express your feelings or write out a favorite poem. What? Not into poetry? Bet you have a favorite song with a lyric that would get the point across.  Or, you could amp up the sex appeal and profess your (not so good) intentions! 





See, you don’t even have to have good penmanship! Just get creative. Don’t know where to start? Check out my pinterest board Creating Everyday Romance for some inspiration! Don’t get overwhelmed by the artistic nature of some of those pins. Most of them were created on a computer. But if you break down parts of each one, and sample a few of the ideas, you’ll still be  able to create a lovely little design that says, “I love you.” Remember, hand made is wonderful no matter what!



Bonus: no lipstick was harmed in the expression of your true love on the bathroom mirror! 


Chalk pens can be found online or at your local craft store. I love using the wider chisel tip pens. So, what are you waiting for? Go express your love. 




Be Mine Valentine Bunting

Be Mine Valentine Bunting

 Day One: Be mine? Valentine Bunting for the bay window. Also know as the photography corner. 

Welcome to Fourteen Days of Love! I hope you’ll join me as I explore ways to show love to my family and friends this Valentine’s Season. This seemed like the perfect year to journal my projects: since Valentine’s day is 2/14/2014. That’s magic, no?  


I thought I’d start out this series with getting some decorating done! Somehow, I actually undecorated our house from Christmas before the first of February. That’s a bit rare for me. I was marveling about this modern day miracle just yesterday over coffee with IZ. 

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did. I got it all put away, with a little help from you.”

I thought you had too, and then I noticed your niche. What’s that about?” (pointing behind him)

“That is my ‘Christmas in your heart all year long’ display. What’s your point?”

“I think you just forgot.”

Busted. (Ask me in March if Christmas is still in my heart!)

Ok, so I have a bit more cleaning up to do. But in the meantime, I’ve made bunting. BUNTING! Folks, you should be shouting that word. 


I love bunting. I always have. I made my first banner for this window in December of 2006, long before the bunting craze hit. A friend of mine had made a Happy Birthday banner for her husband that I adored and I had intended to make one for Geo’s birthday. Of course, I lost track of time, so up went a “Peace” sign instead.  And there it stayed!  When it was time to undecorate for the holidays, I just couldn’t take the Peace bunting down. Fortunately, IZ agreed: since I hadn’t gone too seasonal with my fabric choices and well, he’s a light touch on these things.  

I’ve been meaning, ever since, to make more. If I had to-do lists printed up, “make bunting” would permanently be written at the bottom.  Then the bunting craze took off and I get a bit oppositional about trends. Typically, I’m either way ahead of the curve or so far behind, that when I finally decide to jump on board, it’s so. over. 

But, I don’t think the bunting craze is going anywhere, because BUNTING. And who doesn’t like a cheery sign in the window? So, here we are. 



I’m not including a tutorial on this.  Partly because I made it in the middle of the night when the light is horrible for photos, but mostly because the internet is already chock full of great tutorials on making bunting. 

However, I do have few tips that I think are helpful. 

♥ The base fabric is made from drop cloth. Yep! Cheap canvas. And if you pink the edges, it will hold up forever. (see Peace bunting in my window for seven years.) You can buy canvas drop cloths in the painting department of your local hardware store. Be careful. If you buy a larger piece, chances are it will be seamed together to make the dimensions. But it’s by far the best buy for canvas if you’re crafting.  (and um, I’ve covered couches with the stuff too!)

♥ When picking a font go for a bold one with as few curves as possible. Because you’ll be cutting that curve out twice. Once for your template, and once on the fabric.  You can print out templates on paper, cut it out, and the make sure you invert the letter when you trace it to the back of your fabric. 😀 


♥ Most craft stores sell heat and bond adhesive in rolls. You can certainly sew your letters on if you like, but even if you do, using the adhesive first will secure them in place and keep everything still as you sew. 

♥ I didn’t really measure on this. I mostly eyeballed it — because ultimately, I wasn’t trying to make something look store-bought, but homemade. I love the look of hand fashioned anything: but especially at Valentine’s Day. There’s just something so charming about “I made this myself”, no matter how it turns out. So, don’t fret the size or the shape. Just create something you’ll love. 

Ok! Your turn. I hope you’ll go make a fabulous bunting to profess your love. (every time IZ walks by this and I’m in the room he says to me, “Yes, I will.” See, romance right there!) Drop me an email or a link in the comments; I’d love to see what you create! 

♥Need some more ideas on creating your own bunting? Check in later this afternoon: I’ll be posting a Pinterest round-up of all my favorite bunting ideas and tutorials! 



A Love Project: Fourteen Days of Love


Handmade Valentine: Find more more at Mireio


Lately, when I’m on Pinterest, I find myself quietly singing, “My boards are alive… with the sound of Valentines.” (to the tune of “The Hills are Alive, with the Sound of Music.”) I’m a brilliant lyricist. (not) But it’s true, right? Everywhere you turn people are pinning ideas for this season of Love. 

I’ve made some lovely little sachets for Mireio. Sweet things that come in parchment envelopes to give to your sweetheart. But I’m seriously turning my thoughts to how to sweeten up things here at home as well. Ideas that don’t always include sugar, though, because: resolutions!

I’ve been turning this idea over for the past few weeks, and I’ve decided to find little ways, sweet ways to tell the people I love how adored they are this year. I’m not sure what all I’m going to do just yet, but I’ll be posting my progress here on the blog. I think a few craft projects, some baking, maybe even a collaborative project to send to friends? I think we’ll call it 14 days of Love. Starting February 1, I’ll post my first project. 

Sound good to you? If you want to play along, let me know. I’d love to see your projects and ideas!! 

Happy St. Valentine’s Day